Division of Richmond

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Australian House of Representatives Division
Division of RICHMOND 2016.png
Division of Richmond in New South Wales, as of the 2016 federal election.
Created 1901
MP Justine Elliot
Party Labor
Namesake Richmond River
Electors 112,820 (2016)
Area 2,148 km2 (829.3 sq mi)
Demographic Rural

The Division of Richmond is an Australian electoral division in the state of New South Wales. The division was proclaimed in 1900, and was one of the original 75 divisions to be contested at the first federal election. The division is named after the area in which it is located,[1] namely the Richmond Valley and Richmond River, which was named in honour of Charles, the fifth Duke of Richmond.[2]

The division is located in the far north-east of the state, adjacent to the Coral Sea. It adjoins the Queensland border to the north, and encompasses the towns of Ballina, Tweed Heads, Murwillumbah and Byron Bay.

The current Member for Richmond, since the 2004 federal election, is Justine Elliot, a member of the Australian Labor Party.


Historically, the division has been a rural seat and fairly safe for the National Party (formerly called the Country Party), which held it for all but six years from 1922 to 2004. For 55 of those years, it was held by three generations of the Anthony family—Hubert Lawrence Anthony (a minister in the Fadden and Menzies governments), Doug Anthony (leader of the National Party from 1971 to 1984 and Deputy Prime Minister in the Gorton, McMahon and Fraser governments) and Larry Anthony (a minister in the Howard government)—the first three-generation dynasty in the Australian House of Representatives.[3] However, it became far less safe for the Nationals from 1983 onward, and strong population growth over the last three decades has seen it progressively lose its rural territory and reduced it to a more coastal-based and urbanised division. Accompanying demographic change has made the seat friendlier to Labor since the 1990s.

The division's most notable member outside of the Anthony family was Charles Blunt, leader of the National Party from 1989 to 1990. His tenure was short-lived, however. Just months after becoming leader of the Nationals, he was defeated in the 1990 election when the preferences of anti-nuclear activist Helen Caldicott allowed Neville Newell to claim the seat for Labor for the first time ever, despite only winning 27 percent of first preferences. It was only the second time that a major party leader had lost his own seat in an election. Larry Anthony (junior) regained the seat for the Nationals in 1996, only to be defeated by Labor's Justine Elliot in 2004—the first time a member of the Anthony family had been unseated in an election. In 2007, Elliot picked up a large swing as Labor won government, technically making Richmond a safe Labor seat. She retained the seat at the 2010, 2013 and 2016 elections. The latter victory came even as Labor lost government, marking the second time (her 2004 victory being the first) that the non-Labor parties have been in government without holding Richmond.

Richmond had the sixth highest vote for the Australian Greens, and saw the highest rural seat vote for the Greens in the nation. Much of the southern portion of the seat is in the state seat of Ballina, which was taken by the Greens at the 2015 state election.


Member Party Term
  (Sir) Thomas Ewing Protectionist 1901–1909
  Commonwealth Liberal 1909–1910
  Walter Massy-Greene Commonwealth Liberal 1910–1917
  Nationalist 1917–1922
  Roland Green Country 1922–1937
  Larry Anthony, Sr. Country 1937–1957
  Doug Anthony Country 1957–1975
  National Country 1975–1982
  National 1982–1984
  Charles Blunt National 1984–1990
  Neville Newell Labor 1990–1996
  Larry Anthony National 1996–2004
  Justine Elliot Labor 2004–present

Election results[edit]

Australian federal election, 2016: Richmond[4]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
National Matthew Fraser 37,006 37.61 −1.80
Labor Justine Elliot 30,551 31.05 −3.33
Greens Dawn Walker 20,108 20.44 +5.07
One Nation Neil Smith 6,160 6.26 +6.11
Animal Justice Angela Pollard 3,089 3.14 +3.14
Christian Democrats Russell Kilarney 1,484 1.51 +0.10
Total formal votes 98,398 96.33 +1.25
Informal votes 3,748 3.67 −1.25
Turnout 102,146 90.54 −0.80
Two-party-preferred result
Labor Justine Elliot 53,092 53.96 +2.38
National Matthew Fraser 45,306 46.04 −2.38
Labor hold Swing +2.38


  1. ^ "Profile of the electoral division of Richmond (NSW)". Current federal electoral divisions. Australian Electoral Commission. 1 October 2013. Retrieved 8 November 2013. 
  2. ^ "Richmond River". Geographical Names Register (GNR) of NSW. Geographical Names Board of New South Wales. Retrieved 3 February 2013. 
  3. ^ Hogan, Allan (2011). "Dynasties: Anthony". ABC TV. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 8 November 2013. 
  4. ^ Richmond, NSW, Virtual Tally Room 2016, Australian Electoral Commission.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 28°30′40″S 153°21′47″E / 28.511°S 153.363°E / -28.511; 153.363